Duncan's Bride(73)

By: Linda Howard

He was with her during delivery. The doctor had kept careful watch on the growing baby and didn't think she'd have any trouble delivering it. Reese wondered violently if the doctor's idea of trouble differed from his. It was thirty-six hours since her labor had begun. Less than half an hour after he'd told her about the San Diego Chargers, Reese was holding his red, squalling son in his hands.

Madelyn watched him through tear-blurred eyes, smiling giddily. The expression on Reese's face was so intense and tender and possessive that she could barely stand it. "Eight pounds, two ounces," he murmured to the infant. "You just barely made it under the wire." Madelyn laughed and reached for both husband and son. Reese settled the baby in her arms and cradled her in his, unable to take his eyes from the both of them. He'd never seen anything so beautiful in his life, even if her hair was matted with sweat and coming loose from her braid. God, he felt good! Exhausted but good.

She yawned and rested her head against his shoulder. "I think we did a good job," she announced, examining the baby's tiny fingers and damp dark hair. "I also think I'm going to sleep for a week."

When she was in her room, just before she did go to sleep, she heard Reese say it again. "I love you, sweetheart." She was too sleepy to answer, but she reached out and felt him take her hand. Those were three words she never got tired of hearing, though she'd heard them often during the past months.

Reese sat and watched her as she slept, a smile in his eyes. Slowly his eyelids drooped as he succumbed to his weariness, but not once during his sleep did he turn loose of her hand.

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